A Guide to Advanced Facebook Insights: Analytics and Actions

networking tree

This is the third of a four article series on Facebook Insights. The first article, “An Guide to Understanding Facebook Insights” covered the ins and outs of what Facebook Insights is, what questions can be answered by each report, and the beginning stages of how to manipulate the data. The second article on Facebook Insights, “Turning Facebook Insights Into Action” discussed how to convert the data and graphs on the People and Posts Tabs into actionable steps to improve your Facebook Business Page. In this article we’ll cover more advanced analytic extrapolation of how to turn the data from the Likes, Reach, and Visits Tabs (arguably the most important Tabs) into valuable actions for your small business.


Your Like Tab helps you understand growth trends and where that growth is coming from.

On the Like Tab you can unlock answers to the below questions:

  • How quickly are you increasing Facebook Page Likes?
  • How many of your Page Likes are Organic Likes? (Organic Likes are Likes obtained without any spend, such as Facebook Ads or Sponsored Story support) How many are Paid Likes? (Paid Likes are Likes that are acquired through Facebook Ad campaigns or a Sponsored Story.)
  • How do your Page Unlikes correlate with your Organic and Paid Likes?
  • Where are your Page Likes coming from?

Likes Tab - Total LikesThe Likes Tab’s Total Likes graph gives insight into how fast you are gaining Likes. If it is not at the rate you would like or is stagnant, you may want to consider developing a Page Like Campaign through “Boosting” your Page.

Likes Tab - Net LikesThe ‘Net Likes’ graph on the ‘Likes Tab’ is valuable for watching for Facebook Algorithm changes. This was how the Facebook community learned that Facebook is becoming a more “pay to play” space, as  Organic Page Reach was steadily decreasing. As we saw our organic reach decrease, we were able to offset the organic decrease with a paid increase. This notification also had Facebook Managers look into our engagement levels as well to see if there was a correlation. It also gives you a snapshot of your Unlike Levels, which will notify you if one of your tactics, such as increasing frequency or your Paid Like targeting methodology is having an adverse effect. In seeing this, you can take action to prevent further damage to your Facebook Community.

Likes Tab - Like SourceThe ‘Where Your Page Likes Came From’ graph is similar to the External Referrers graph on the Visitors Page, but instead of looking at traffic, this graph looks at Like quantity and where they came from, such as Ads and Sponsored Stories, On Your Page, Mobile, Page Suggestions, etc. It’s important to look at what is listed as well as noting what may be missing from the list that you expect to see. For example, if you have a web-based app that’s routing to Facebook encouraging Page Likes, but you don’t see Likes coming from an Application Programming Interface (API), you may need to look at the functionality of the application to see why it isn’t driving likes as it has been set up to do.


Your Reach Tab shows you who you are reaching, how you are reaching fans and if they are engaging with your content.

The Reach Tab can illuminate answers to the following questions:

  • Does my Organic Reach positively or negatively correlate to my Paid Reach?
  • How have my actions or inactions contributed to my engagement?
  • How have my actions or inactions contributed to my “hides, report as spam, and unlikes”?

While you’re discovering what works best for interacting with your audience (post type modification, addition of Facebook Apps — like contests, addition of paid ads and boosts, finding the right posting frequency and posting timing), the Facebook Insight’s Reach Tab is a valuable resource. It’s a good snapshot of how your various tests are affecting your reach, engagement, and “opt-outs”. This is valuable in discovering what works best when communicating with your audience and how to modify your actions to create the most positive response from your Facebook Community.

reach tab - Total reach The Post Reach Graph shows the number of people who saw your posts and the paid vs. organic mix and determine if paying for boosting your posts is a valuable investment and if the paid reach has a positive or negative correlation to Organic Reach and develop a strategy around those findings.

reach tab - engagementreach tab - SPAM

The ‘Likes, Comments and Shares’ graph shows positive post engagement, whereas the ‘Hide, Report as Spam & Unlikes’ graph shows adverse reactions to posts . The most beneficial feature of both of these graph comes from clicking on the peaks and valleys to dive into a deeper assessment of the content delivered on those days. The positive post engagement analysis can drive the crafting of better messaging to improve audience engagement. Assessing the negative response can be a bit trickier, as you have more variables to assess. 

Did you change your content strategy? Did you change your frequency? Are you targeting the right audience for your boosted posts? If this was also a date/post of high positive engagement does the positive and outweigh the negative reaction? The answers to these questions will lead you to the necessary actions, if any, you’ll want to make to your content strategy.

reach tab - post reachSimilar to the ‘Post Reach’ graph, at the bottom of the Reach Tab there is a ‘Total Reach’ graph. This graph gives a broader view of your reach beyond just your posts. It shows “the number of people who saw any activity from your page including posts, posts by other people, Page like ads, mentions, and check-ins.”  Like the ‘Post Reach’ graph, this also gives a snapshot of your Paid vs. Organic mix. In order to investigate the offerings  on this graph, one must investigate each avenue to determine why peaks and valleys occur and how to take action. For example, a peak could be because you started a new contest on facebook asking people to share content, or it could be because you started a few new ad campaigns, or it could be because if I’m a brick and mortar store, I had a promotion asking for people to “check in” on Facebook to enter into a drawing. Drawing actionable items from this graph becomes more complex the more activities you are doing on Facebook, however, if you’re able to dissect the data and discover why you’re seeing that peak, you can determine a strategy of how to replicate it and how to integrate that technique, or combination of techniques into future strategies.


Your Visits Tab shows you a broader view of how people are interacting with your Page beyond your posts including tab interaction and mentions. It also shows what websites are driving people to your Facebook Page, called “External Referrers”.

The Visits Tab answers questions such as:

  • Have people visited my new App Tab or Page? What quantity? Have ads helped increase visits?
  • Are people talking about my Page? Are people posting on my Page?
  • Where is your traffic coming from?

Visits - Page & Tab VisitsSeeing the trend of your ‘Page and Tab Visits’ shows if your organic and paid efforts are driving traffic. For instance, in this quick snapshot of our page its evident that something positively impacted the page beginning on March 15th. I also can see that the ‘Marketing Madness’ App visits positively correlates with this Facebook Page’s Timeline visits. Comparing posts, ads, etc. can assist in confirming what this action caused this spike and what actions can be taken to replicate these positive results in the future.

Admin Insights Panel - Visits - Other Page ActivityThe ‘Other Page Activity’ shows the number of actions people took that involved your Page. This is slightly different than engagement, as it only shows mentions of your brand and posts by other people on your page. These are public mentions of your brand coming from outside of your Facebook team. It can be valuable to know if certain Facebook campaigns incite more chatter, or if there is an upward trend, you may need to devote more time to making sure your community is appropriately managed and someone is answering questions, working to resolve issues, etc. As the volume of engagement, mentions and posts by other people on your page increases, the more time will need to be devoted to community management.

Admin Insights Panel - Visits - External Referrers

‘External Referrers’ shows where your Facebook Page traffic is coming from. This is valuable to see how your SEO is doing, if you have partnerships how they are ranking against your other referrers, etc. You can use this data to make appropriate changes and monitor peaks and valleys in the top performers.


In our previous Facebook Insights post you learned how to answer, “Are you reaching your Fans when they are online?” and “Is the content that you’re developing relevant to them?” on the Post Tab. A more advanced question it can answer is :

  • “What were your best posts and how can you learn from them?”

Posts post details

On the Post Tab, you can see the  your most recent post summaries. When you posted it, the beginning of the post copy, the type of post, if you targeted the post, reach, engagement, and whether or not it was promoted. From this snapshot, you’re able to look at the copy of your best (and worst) content and better tailor your copy to get a better response from your audience. This data, when used in this way, can increase engagement levels, which may increase your virality as well.


After you have mastered all of these techniques within the dashboard, understand the data and are able to create actionable items from the data, you may want to start creating exported reports.

The benefits of exporting the data from Facebook Insights are as follows:

  • Increased Length of Scope: Exported reports allow the analyst to customize the date ranges of the data pulled to look at a longer scope of time. Facebook only allows 90-day exports at a time, so more than one export may be necessary to create these reports.
  • Varied Comparisons: Longer Length of Scope also allows you to overlay data to look at month-over-month, quarter-over-quarter or even year-over-year trends.
  • Custom reports: Access to the raw data, allows the analyst to manipulate the data in new ways, valuable to your business by creating new reports outside of the default reports seen in Facebook’s Dashboard.
  • Branded colors and reports: By exporting the data you can change the formatting of your graphs to fit into your small business brand for presentations.

Originally written for Deluxe Corporation’s Blog


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